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an embarrassment of toilets

Koganadu R.I.P.

“Will the most ostentatious mansion in Greenwich history survive the bust?” we asked a mere two weeks ago, relating the epic battle between Valery Kogan, a Russian airport tycoon looking to settle down in Greenwich, and the aghast townfolk. The answer is in. It’s a nyet.

On May 26, reports Greenwich Time, Olga Kogan — Valery’s wife and the official owner of the plot — wrote a letter to the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, dropping the construction bid and citing “surprising and unfounded” criticism of the plan (which originally included 26 toilets and a twelve-car garage). The outrage, as well as a lawsuit filed by the Kogans’ neighbors, certainly played a part, but guess what? It is by no means the main reason Koganadu isn’t getting built. As we had discovered while reporting the story, the strangest thing about the would-be megamansion wasn’t the toilets, or the guitar-shaped patio, or the on-site hair salon. It was the fact that the future pleasure pad was already mortgaged up to the eaves: The property, which cost $18.5 million in 2005 and is now worth an estimated $11 million, has been used as collateral for $25 million in two separate loans. Both loans matured on June 1, 2009 (note the timing). Suddenly, the oligarch looks like any number of irrational-exuberance victims whose maniacal betting on endless appreciation helped bring about the bust. In other words, today we’re all Valery Kogan. And vice versa.

Russian Tycoon Drops Plans for Greenwich Mansion [Greenwich Time]
Earlier: Xanadu, CT [NYM]

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Photo: Illustration by Bryan Christie Design